February 10th, 2006


Low-Fat Diet Myth Busted


Low-Fat Diet Myth Busted

Thursday, February 09, 2006

By Steven Milloy

The widely-believed notion that low-fat diets are good for your health went “poof” this week – although the busting of that myth shouldn’t be news to regular readers of this column.

Low-fat diets didn’t reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, colorectal cancer or invasive breast cancer, according to three large studies published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The researchers divided 48,835 women into two groups based on diet-- one group with 19,541 women consumed a low fat diet and the other group with 29,294 women consumed their usual diets -- and followed the women for 8.1 years.

The most significant result of the $415 million study is that low-fat diets don’t reduce heart disease risk. As the researchers put it, “Over [an average] of 8.1 years, a dietary intervention that reduced total fat intake and increased intake of vegetables, fruits and grains did not significantly reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke or cardiovascular disease in postmenopausal women and achieved only modest effects on cardiovascular risk factors…”

Low-fat diets didn’t even improve heart health among the population of women who had heart disease at the beginning of the study. In fact, the low-fat diet regimen was associated with a slightly increased risk of heart disease among these women.

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